Kubic’s conflict stories are eye-opening gems, full of intrigue and insight.
Ferreting out the truth is both an obligation and a risky endeavor for journalists in unstable countries, and not everyone is cut out for the work. In his memoir, From Prague to Jerusalem, Milan J. Kubic recounts his extraordinary life spent on front lines around the world, and shows in no uncertain terms that he had the right stuff for the job.
Kubic spent his childhood in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, sought refuge in the United States, and eventually became a Newsweek correspondent, with stints in Beirut, Vienna, West Germany, and Jerusalem.
His memoir is divided along these lines, with the first part devoted to his life before arriving in America; the second covering time spent in South America, the Indian subcontinent, and Eastern and Western Europe; and the last part devoted to Israel, which was his last beat.
The chapters covering his early life under the Nazi regime are riveting, showing how the young Kubic thrived by virtue of his talent for writing about what he saw going on around him. Ultimately, his reporting was frowned upon by government officials, and he was forced to flee the country.
A circuitous route landed him in a displaced-persons camp in Germany, where he fell in love with his future wife; it then took him to Chicago, and eventually to the illustrious Newsweek job that would be his life’s work.
Kubic’s conflict stories are eye-opening gems, full of intrigue and insight. His ability to remember conversations with spies, and small details about world leaders, makes the memoir read like a first-rate thriller. Disappointingly, chapters covering the thirteen years Kubic spent in Israel are light on the memoir angle, instead focusing on a recitation of history as witnessed by him, albeit with plenty of interesting asides.
Kubic’s life story is fascinating and satisfying. This work is filled with compelling anecdotes, from early struggles to later challenges.
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